JIS News

Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Burchell Whiteman, has emphasised that attention must be paid to customer service within the business sector.
“This country which enjoys a high reputation worldwide for its hospitality in the tourism sector gets a low rating in so many areas of customer service. Standards vary widely in this country and it seems to me that not enough of our owners and managers of businesses pay sufficient attention to this area of their operation,” he noted.
“Given the increasing ease with which customers can purchase goods from abroad and given the increasing penetration of foreign businesses into the free trading globalised environment, we need to be better managers of our customer service operations,” Mr. Whiteman added.
The Former High Commissioner was speaking at the 11th meeting of the Technical Committee for Developing a National Standard for Improving Public Behaviour in Jamaica, held today (January 26), at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Winchester Road, in Kingston.
He further noted that managers in both the public and private sectors have an opportunity and an obligation to lead in this area and to foster a customer-centred environment through their organisations and enterprises.
“I suspect both on intuitive grounds and on research grounds, we will find that the effect on all other areas of our lives, as a society, will be positive,” Mr. Whiteman said.
On another matter, Mr. Whiteman argued that Jamaica’s economic development prospects are being put at risk by the country’s reputation for violent behaviour.
“What is it that accounts for the frightening level of violent behaviour in our homes, schools and communities? How long can we continue to speak in a non-scientific manner or non-clinical way about assertiveness and aggressiveness, as differences of degree along a spectrum, because some of us do that?” Mr. Whiteman asked.
He said there is a view that the country is not making enough use of scientific resources, which are able to help the island make the best diagnosis of its societal ill health.
“It is argued that there are qualitative research tools available to us to analyse and interpret phenomena in their inter-related complexities that can provide direction for us to follow, as we make decisions about behaviour and the application of standards,” Mr. Whiteman said.
“What is very clear to me is that we must be prepared to test, evaluate and proceed on the basis of findings that can be justified. What is equally clear is that there is no short term fix to social transformation, but neither do we have the luxury of sitting by and doing nothing,” he added.
The Bureau of Standards Jamaica, in fulfilling its mandate to review and develop national standards, has established a technical committee for drafting a national standard for improving public behaviour in Jamaica, to guide the conduct of the Jamaican society.
The committee has three sub committees that denote the areas of focus – the citizen, the student and the worker. Each sub-committee functions independently, yet share an independent relationship with the committee to which they report. The committee’s primary focus is on standards development activities specific to improving the public behaviour of the Jamaican citizen, student and worker.